Scott A. Sissel, JD, CPA, LLM in Tax

Scott's practice focuses primarily on estate tax planning and business succession matters for ultra high net worth families, with the majority between $25M - $300M+. 

Scott's early and extensive experience at a Tier 1 nationally ranked law firm in Chicago as well as in his current role as the leader of the trusts and estates group at a business and tax focused mid-sized firm have provided him with the expertise necessary to navigate complex estate tax matters, difficult business succession matters and the interactions therefrom in all types of corporate transactional (M&A) and family business dispute matters. The majority of Scott's clients have significant estate tax exposures from multi-generational wealth (primarily for medium and large closely owned family businesses across the spectrum of manufacturing, construction, agriculture, technology, aviation, etc.) as well as corporate executives and all other families who need sophisticated estate tax expertise.

In addition to his law degree, Scott is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and received his post-doctorate Masters in Taxation (LL.M.) from Northwestern. He has received the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating of "AV Preeminent"​ and has been named a "Rising Star" in 2015 - 2019 by Super Lawyers (reserved for the top 2.5% of lawyers) as well an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers (reserved for the top 2% of lawyers under the age of 40). 

Scott resides with his family in West Des Moines, Iowa. He practices out of the Chicago office of DUGGAN BERTSCH, LLC and is passionate about bringing the level of sophistication he has garnered over his career to families throughout Iowa [particularly Des Moines (where he lives) and the Quad Cities (where he was born and raised)], along with his representation of a number of families across the country. 

*The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.


  • Co-Author, “Divorce and the Family Business,” Business Entities Magazine, March/April 2007
  • “The Next Generation LLC,” Insight Magazine, June 2006


  • “Estate Tax Opportunities Prior to the Sale of a Closely-Owned Family Business”– Presented for Duff & Phelps, April 2016

  • "The Evolution of the Virtual Family Office" - Leveraging technology as a platform for communication and decision making between all professionals for high net wealth families, presented for U.S. Bank, May 2013
  • Gifting Opportunities in 2012 — Leveraging the 2012 Tax Exemptions Through FLPs, FLLCs and GRATs, and Gifting Other Equity Interests, Life Insurance and Real Estate” presented for Strafford, September 2012
  • “Recent Developments Including LP and LLC Valuation Cases, State Tax Decoupling and Asset Protection,” presented for First Midwest Trust, November 2009


  • LL.M., Taxation, Northwestern University School of Law, 2004
  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law, 2003
  • B.B.A., Accounting, University of Iowa, 2001


  • Certified Public Accountant, 2006


  • Illinois, 2004
  • U.S. Tax Court, 2005
  • Iowa, 2010

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association – Member
  • American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants – Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association – Member
  • Chicago Bar Association – Vice Chair, YLS Taxation Division, 2005-2007
  • Chicago Estate Planning Council – Member
  • Chicago Iowa Club (University of Iowa) – President
  • Iowa Expat Trust – Treasurer and Chicago Team Leader

Click here to see Scott's LinkedIn profile.

Super Lawyers Scott A. Sissel

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